Judge Orders Company to Pay APERS $16.5M

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 2:05 pm  

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled Tuesday that National Timber Partners LLC of Williamstown, Mass., breached its contract with the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and ordered the company to pay APERS $16.5 million.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office announced the ruling. 

"We are grateful for the court's order in this case in which the defendant has not responded to our pleadings or appeared in court to defend their actions," McDaniel said in a news release. "Companies that do business with the state are expected to fulfill their obligations or face the legal consequences if they choose not to do so."

According to the attorney general's office, National Timber entered into a contract with APERS in October 2012 and agreed to purchase APERS' interest in the NTP Timber Plus Fund I, L.P., in three installments totaling $110 million. But McDaniel said National Timber failed to pay all of the second installment and none of its final installment.

In his ruling, Fox granted McDaniel's motion for default judgment. He ordered National Timber to pay $16.5 million, which includes $14.8 million due to the retirement system plus more than $560,000 in pre-judgment interest.

National Timber had twice asked for more time to respond to the lawsuit but never submitted a response. According to the attorney general's office, no one representing the company attended Tuesday's hearing.



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